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Gardening: Christopher Columbus exchanged plant materials around the world

Rodd Moesel explains how Christopher Columbus and his explorers swapped American plant materials with European plant materials, a practice many gardeners still embrace today.
By Rodd Moesel, For The Oklahoman Published: October 8, 2012

The ornamental kale and cabbage will stay pretty well into winter and are now widely available at local nurseries. Pansies provide a perky uplift of charming flowers in sunny areas throughout the whole winter, blooming even through snows and most other winter challenges with just a little watering attention if we get dry during the winter. Few things cheer me up as much as the bright colorful pansy faces in their full palette of yellow, orange, red, bronze, blue and purple flowers on cold, dark winter days. To experience that joy yourself buy a flat or two of pansies to plant along your sidewalks or in large decorative pots on your porch or patio. If you want a green winter lawn you need to overseed with tall fescue in the next couple of weeks and then water well. Don't forget now is the prime time to buy and plant all your spring flowering bulbs such as tulips, hyacinths, crocus and daffodils to assure a great round of flowers to kickoff next spring.

Fall is one of the best times to spend in the garden, so I hope you will plant flowers, bulbs and trees, but also walk, sit and meditate in the great outdoors of your yard.

Rodd Moesel serves on the Oklahoma Horticulture Industrial Council and the Oklahoma State University agriculture dean's advisory committee. He is former president of the Oklahoma Greenhouse Growers. Email garden and landscape questions to

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